Friday, October 29, 2010

CBSA: Letters to the Editor [Auditor General’s Report]

Letter to the Editor: Ottawa Citizen; Vancouver Sun; National Post; The Province; Windsor Star concerning the Auditor General Annual Report, Chapter 8: Facilitating the Flow of Imported Commercial Goods

Please allow me to provide some additional context to the points raised in your article regarding the Auditor General’s findings on “Facilitating the Flow of Imported Commercial Goods.”

As the Auditor General stated, Canada imported over $440 billion in commercial goods in 2008. However, the $2 billion reported in your article is not substantiated in the Office of the Auditor General report and is a simplistic extrapolation from the data.

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) does recognize that its current system is inadequate.

We are implementing a compliance strategy to increase assurances that duty and tax information provided by importers is accurate and complete. This will allow the Agency to identify specific causes of non-compliance so that effective corrective measures can be put in place.

Much like Canada’s income tax system, whereby Canadians file income tax information that is later assessed by the government, the CBSA has a vigorous program to review and verify duty and tax information that is declared by importers. We have also designed a detailed program to help improve how we monitor non-compliant importer activities.

The CBSA continues to strengthen and refine its processes in order to optimize conditions at the border while ensuring its operations support a strong Canadian economy.

Cathy Munroe
Vice-President, Programs Branch
Canada Border Services Agency

[The original article from the Vancouver Sun is here.]